Here we go – the start of a new year 2004 season in Las Vegas

Jan. 4 – AA Las Vegas Rebels go 5-0-2 in Southwest League action but pay the price: coach Rob Pallin said there were injuries to top skaters including Jason Allen who hurt his left knee. Rebels, at 22-10-6, plan no-contact, flow-drill type practices to get ready for the next tournament, in Denver, starting on the 16th.

Jan 5 – Las Vegas ‘Skater of the Year’ Adam Naglich has 16 goals, 24 assists for 40 points with the Victoria Salsa Jr. A. Last season, Naglich had a total of 13 goals, 24 assists for 37 points.

Jan. 16 – Kurt Long scores his 30th goal and becomes only the seventh Las Vegas skater to score 30 or more in a single season. Long and the AA Las Vegas Rebels midget majors were in the 16-team Outlaws Shootout Tournament in Westminster, Colorado.

Jan. 19 – Chris Francis scores a dramatic goal in overtime as the AA Las Vegas Tour Rebels 14-and-under roller team beats Irvine, Calif. 6-5, to capture gold medal at the NARCH Winternationals over at Crystal Palace on Flamingo. The championship game is played on a Monday morning, goes 5-5 in regulation and Francis scores two minutes into the OT.

Jan. 20 – The Las Vegas Outlaws squirt A team works it way into the gold medal game, beats Chandler 4-3, and becomes the first Las Vegas-based ice team to twice win a Southwest Youth Hockey League championship. McNicholas, with 3 goals, and Sewald, with one, are the goal scorers. McNicholas is the first Las Vegas skater to play on two teams which won Southwest titles.

Jan. 21 – Defenseman Eddie Del Grosso has a career-best 31 goals, getting 15 of those with AAA S.D. Gulls and 16 with AAA Cal Senators midget majors. Already, Del Grosso has made the All-Tournament teams at the USHN Hockey Challenge in Chicago Cup; the Kelowna, B.C. Tournament and at the AAA National Silver Sticks Championships in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

Jan 27 – The biggest, most exciting ‘City Series’ ever is scheduled to begin on Tuesday night as the AA Las Vegas Outlaws bantams take on the AA Las Vegas Rebels bantams in a best-of-three for the Nevada Championship. The winner here heads for the Pacific District regional championships. All the games are scheduled at the Santa Fe.

Jan 30 – The Rebels bantams lost the first game but came back to win games two and three over the Las Vegas Outlaws win the City Series, Nevada championship and earn the right to go to the Pacific District Tier 11 regionals in March. The Outlaws won the first game, 6-3. The Rebels won the next two, 7-4, 8-5. There were many outstanding moments, although the Rebels’ top line of Ryan Townsend, Chris Francis and Robbie Silvernail played well in all three games.

Feb 2 – Southwest League announces two major awards:

Hamilton Whyte of the Las Vegas Outlaws Mite A team, is top scorer in that division with an astounding 52 goals, 22 assists.

Morgan Morinello of the Las Vegas Outlaws Tier 11 Pee Wee team, is top goalie in that division with a 90.9 save percentage and an outstanding 1.7 goals against average.

Feb 6 – An excited AA Las Vegas Rebels midget majors will open vs. Beach City Lightning, then take on the L.A. Jr. Kings in the Southwest League Championships in San Jose, Calif. Rebs, 12-1-3 in league play, and Chandler Polar Bear Ice, 14-1-1, are the top seeds in the 10-team playoffs.

Feb. 8 – In the most amazing story of the year, Tim Mueller’s AA Las Vegas Outlaws 16-and-under midget minors catch fire in the Southwest League Championships at San Jose. The Outlaws 16s play in three straight overtime “shootout” games and get to the Final Four, win that game and head for the gold medal game.

Here’s how the Outlaws did it:

AA LAS VEGAS OUTLAWS
Midget Minor 16s
0-3 to San Jose Jr. Sharks
5-4 over Tri-Valley Vipers
5-6 vs. L.A. Hockey Club (shootout)
4-3 over L.A. Jr. Kings (shootout)
Quarter-Finals
3-2 over Tri-Valley Vipers (shootout)
Monday
Final Four
3-2 over L.A. Hockey Club
Championship
2-3 vs. L.A. Jr. Kings 16s

Feb. 11 – Although he’s been out of hockey for almost a year, right wing Sean Fox, 19, begins working out with coach Rob and the AA Las Vegas Rebels. Fox gets a call from the head coach of the Peninsula, B.C. Panthers Jr. B and is invited to join the top team for the playoffs. On Thursday, Fox heads out to join his new team.

Feb 12 – They’re off to Quebec. Ken Quinney and a Las Vegas Outlaws peewee team are heading to Quebec for the biggest tournament of the year.

Feb 13 – The compressors are broken and the ice is gone. It looks like it’s over for the ice rink at the SportPark on Rampart. A sign on the glass rink door reads ‘Rink is Closed.’

Feb 16 – Matt Hedderly scores 3 goals, Nicky Robone one as the Las Vegas Rebels Bantam A team beats the Anaheim Jr. Ducks 4-0 to win the President’s Day Tournament at the Center Ice Arena in Ontario, Calif. The Rebels A’s go 4-0-0, running their win streak to nine in a row and winning their second straight tournament title this season.

Feb 23 – Adam Naglich, who skated on AA Las Vegas Mustangs’ famous “Red Line” three years ago, is getting a collegiate hockey scholarship to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks in 2005-06. Adam will skate one more season with the Victoria Salsa Jr. A.

March 11 – At last, the Pacific District Championships arrive at the Santa Fe Stations Ice Arena. In the very first game, on Thursday morning, the AA Las Vegas Rebels played their best game of the season and upset the powerful AA Paramount Panthers, 4-3.

March – With a large crowd packed in the Santa Fe bleachers, Tim Mueller’s AA Las Vegas Outlaws 16s look sharp while taking apart the Tri-Cities midget minors, 7-1, to open action in the Pacific District Championships.

March 14 – Eddie Samuels and Eddie Del Grosso play their last midget major game, skating for the AAA California Senators in the Tier 1 Pacific District Championship game in Seattle. After going 3-1-0 earlier, including two wins over the Alaska All-Stars midget majors, the Senators lose to the LA Stars, 7-2.

March 14 – AA Las Vegas Rebels midget majors, 3-0-0, head into the Final 4 and take on the Tri-Cities Americans of Washington in a Pacific District ‘Final Four’ playoff game at the Santa Fe. Tri-Cities gets a 4-0 lead, Las Vegas rallies for two scores in the third but a goal is disallowed with 1:01 to play. Tri-Cities wins 4-2 and advances to the championship game. There, the AA Long Beach Jr. Ice Dogs midget majors win, 7-1.

March 15 – It is announced that the Santa Fe Stations Ice Arena will host some clinics and small tournaments and then shut down around June 1.

March 29 – Evan Zucker, skating for Jamie O’Leary’s AAA Team Colorado midget minors, heads for the U.S. Nationals in West Chester, Pa. Team Colorado opens action on Wednesday, March 31.

March 29 – Anthony Greener is named ‘Las Vegas Skater of the Year’ during AA Rebels midget major team banquet at the downtown Las Vegas Club. Greener led the Rebs in scoring. Nick Jackson and Ryan Krametbauer shared the coveted ‘All Heart Award,’ named after former Las Vegas skater Spike Neely who buzzed around the ice for years.

AA Rebels Awards:

SKATER OF THE YEAR
Anthony Greener

PLAYMAKER OF THE YEAR
Conrad Trimbath

ALL HEART
Nick Jackson
Ryan Krametbauer

BEST DEFENSEMAN
Jeff Root

MOST IMPROVED
Kurt Long
Danny Kaminski

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Billy Policano

MOST INSPIRATIONAL
Bobby Kintzler

TEAM MOM AWARD
Tanya Root

Tuesday, April 13 – We have a month to go before the Santa Fe Stations Ice Arena will shut down. That will leave just one sheet of ice, at Crystal Palace on Flamingo, before the new Fiesta rink opens in September.

Tuesday, April 13 – Rob Pallin announces he will return as head coach of the AA Las Vegas Rebels midget major teams. This will be his fifth season of coaching the top ice team in the city. Pallin’s midget major teams have won 30+ games each during his first four seasons.